Sat, Apr 28, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Taipei MRT to introduce new IC ticketing system

FASTER EASYCARD Taipei Smart Card Corp said the EasyCard, currently used on the MRT and buses, could be in use on the High Speed Rail system within three years

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

In an effort to adopt an integrated circuit (IC) ticketing system for the MRT system, Taipei Rapid Transit Corp will begin selling IC tokens at four MRT stations starting on Tuesday with the aim of eventually replacing the existing MRT cards.

The tokens with IC cards inside, resemble a NT$50 coin and will be sold at the MRT CKS Memorial Hall, Guting, Jiantan and Taipei City Hall stations starting on Tuesday, and will be rolled out to all other MRT stations by August, the corporation said.

"The magnetic cards are easily worn, whereas the IC tokens can be used more than 30,000 times. Besides, it's hard to forge, and will save passengers time when passing through the gates," said Lee Yuan-hsiang (李源祥), director of the automatic fare collection office under the Taipei City Department of Rapid Transit.

The corporation has adopted the tokens in order to operate the new-style Automatic Fare Collection gates that open like a door. The gates were introduced last year to replace the existing turnstile types of gates.

Passengers who purchase the new IC tokens will be required to enter and exit the stations through the new gates, although the existing magnetic cards can still be purchased and used, Lee said.

Meanwhile, Taipei Smart Card Corp said yesterday that the EasyCard, which is currently used in Taipei MRT stations and on buses, could be used on the Taiwan High Speed Rail system within three years.

According to General Manager Jason Lin (林志盈), the company has discussed the issue with Ou Chih-der (歐晉德), general director of the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp, and he supported the adoption of the EasyCard ticketing system on the high speed rail.

"Using the current EasyCard system could save the corporation the time and money of setting up a new system, and it's convenient for passengers to travel around with only one card," Lin said yesterday at Taipei City Hall.

As the Ministry of Transportation has thrown its support behind the integration of the nation's ticketing systems, Lin said the plan is very likely to be carried out within three years, adding that the company is in discussions with the Taiwan Railway Administration regarding the use of the EasyCard system on their network.

Lin said that Taipei Zoo will allow visitors to use the EasyCard to pay its entrance fee beginning in June.

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